April 10, 2012

Holy Spirit Hospital now uses robot-assisted procedure to treat atrial fibrillation

David Man, MD, FACC, Capital Cardiovascular Associates, and the electrophysiology (EP) staff at The Ortenzio Heart Center successfully completed the first flexible robotics EP procedure at Holy Spirit Hospital last week. Dr. Man used the Hansen Medical Sensei® X Robotics System to treat the patient with atrial fibrillation.

The Sensei X system allows the physician to robotically control a heart catheter from a work station located close to the patient. This sophisticated system allows the physician to see images in 3D and gives the physician the ability to place a heart catheter precisely where it needs to be. This system also reduces radiation exposure to both the patient and physician.

“We are able to achieve more reproducible results with this new device because it allows us to place catheters with greater precision and accuracy than ever before,” said Dr. Man.

Approximately 3 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, or a-fib, and many more go undiagnosed. Untreated a-fib doubles the risk of death from heart-related causes, including congestive heart failure, increases the risk of stroke by 500 percent, and raises the risk of hospitalization. In a-fib, the heart muscle doesn’t contract as it should, causing the upper chamber to quiver. For some people, it gives no warning signs. Others say their pulse is uneven, their heart races, or they have chest pain. Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety or light-headedness can also be symptoms of a-fib.

While medications can regulate heart rhythm or control heart rate for some patients, others may need more treatment, including catheter ablation. Dr. Man and Safwat Gassis, MD, FACC, offer advanced treatment options for heart rhythm disorders. In addition to the new flexible robotics EP procedure, they also perform cryoablation, a procedure which freezes and destroys abnormal tissue causing the irregular heartbeat.

Drs. Gassis and Man head the new Holy Spirit Atrial Fibrillation Center where they provide treatment tailored to suit each patient’s specific situation, including how the rhythm disorder affects his or her ability to function, its effect on heart function, risk of complications from the arrhythmia, as well as patient preference.

For more information about the Holy Spirit Atrial Fibrillation Center and Capital Cardiovascular Associates, please call 717-724-6450. Capital Cardiovascular Associates, a service of the Holy Spirit Cardiovascular Institute, is located at 101 Erford Road, Camp Hill and 5 Capital Drive, Harrisburg.

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